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“Jesus”

JesusI was at my mentor’s wake a few years back. I went through the typical range of emotions that go along with consoling family to laughing with friends. When the clock struck 9:00 pm the guys in the matching suits were packing things up, politely reminding folks it’s closing time. I turned to the casket, suddenly a flood of emotions came over me, paralyzing me. There I stood in the middle of the room, frozen, tears streaming down my face. I didn’t want to leave. I wouldn’t, couldn’t let go. Then a friend came alongside me.

My friend is a spiritual heavy weight. He’s a long-time Jesus follower. He currently leads a worldwide missions organization. One would expect words of wisdom to come pouring out of his mouth, based on his vast years of experience, but those types of words didn’t come. Instead, he simply, and quietly repeated one word over and over – “Jesus.”

That was it. He put his arm around me and prayed, urged, and begged for, “Jesus.” At the time I thought it was a little strange, like perhaps he didn’t know what else to say. What I’ve come to understand is that he was saying the most profound thing anyone could say in that moment. I was stuck in death. He called on Life. I was focused on loss. He pointed to Gain. He called upon the risen Christ to enter the pain of that moment and help us through.

I was reminded of this today as I was praying with another spiritual heavy weight. We discussed our daily struggles and challenges, but again, instead of dispensing words of wisdom, my friend turned to me and simply said, “Jesus. We need him every moment, every day.”

Simple, right? Yes.

All of this then reminded me of my favorite Sarah Young meditation from her book, “Jesus Calling” Feb 22:

You Need Me Every Moment. Your awareness of your constant need for Me is your greatest strength. Your neediness, properly handled, is a link to My Presence. However, there are pitfalls that you must be on guard against: self-pity, self-preoccupation, giving up. Your inadequacy presents you with a continual choice – deep dependence on Me, or despair. The emptiness you feel within will be filled either with problems or with My Presence. Make Me central in your consciousness by praying continually: simple, short prayers flowing out of the present moment. Use My Name liberally, to remind you of My Presence. Keep on asking and you will receive, so that your gladness may be full and complete.

Thanks for reading,
~ Ted

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